Hundreds of protesters convened at the headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police to demand justice for the death of an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by police. As reported by How Africa, Chris Kaba, 24, was fatally shot by police in London on September 5 following a car chase. But it was later established that he was unarmed.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said armed police officers had tried to pull over Chris Kaba because his car was connected to a “firearms incident” the days prior. But in the aftermath of the fatal encounter, the country’s police watchdog said no firearm was found in the vehicle or the scene of the incident.
The police watchdog has since launched an investigation into the incident. The IOPC also said it would ascertain whether race played a factor in the fatal incident, The Guardian reported. And though the Metropolitan Police also later announced that the officer who fatally shot Kaba had been suspended, the deceased Black man’s family said that should have happened earlier.
“We welcome that decision but, to be honest, I think… the second a criminal investigation was opened he should have been suspended from there,” Kaba’s cousin, Jefferson Bosela, told BBC. “You know, first we wanted a criminal investigation opened and that took four days, and then the officer being suspended took another two days.
“So it seems like there’s no urgency in their dealings with this quite tragic matter.”
Bosela’s sentiments were also re-echoed by Labour MP for Streatham, Bell Ribeiro-Addy.
“In any other profession, if you did something which ended someone’s life, you would be suspended immediately,” Ribeiro-Addy told The Guardian. “It makes no sense to me, and I’m a politician.”
“All they want is justice … They have called for peace every single time and they have even called for people not to make anti-monarchy statements,” she added. “They don’t want to see any unrest because they understand that that type of violence is what ended their son’s life.”
The protests over the weekend came after Kaba’s family called on authorities to initiate a murder investigation into his shooting death. And besides London, protests were also held in Manchester, Coventry, and Southampton.